Sweet Tunes Thursday: Artists You Should Know Mixtape Series – life+running

Sweet Tunes Thursday: Artists You Should Know Mixtape Series

It’s been a while since I wrote a music post …

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I was in need of things to make for a larger project that involves lots of little things, and I’ve missed* doing my radio show this semester, so I decided to make mixtape CDs (and, perhaps, actual cassette tapes if I can quickly resolve the mono / stereo issue I’m having). A while back, I started an “Artists You Should Know” series on this blog … and then — like pretty much every project I start of my own volition — I lost momentum. I decided to revive this project in physical form.

Those of you who grew up in Gen X (or, like me, are in the weird in-between space of Gen X and Gen Y) remember mixtapes — either in cassette or CD form. My first introduction to the mixtape was my dad dubbing a bunch of tracks from the Wayne’s World soundtrack (songs found on various albums in his record collection) on to a cassette tape for me. I also remember when we were first able to burn CDs and what it felt like to (seemingly) have complete freedom to find (and download) virtually any song on Napster, Limewire, or Kazaa.

The mixtape is likely one of the factors that led me into graphic design. I used to design elaborate labels for the CDs I burned (unfortunately, I just pitched these CDs — moving soon and downsizing). Designing labels for mixtapes was the best part of making a mixtape. I never was ballsy enough to make a disc for a crush, but people who made the perfect mix for a love interest probably remember the angst of picking songs and making the insert card.

Along with mixtape culture, I’ve been researching zines, and am working on putting together ANOTHER project that is in zine form. I love the look of zines, and the aesthetic is appropriate for the mixtape because the songs are all illegally copied and likely degraded in the process. With this in mind, I decided to create labels for my mixtapes the same way a zine is made (cutting / pasting images and xeroxing them together). And — just like in high school — I’m going to sneak into the teacher’s lounge and xerox these onto colored paper. Okay, technically I am an instructor, so I guess it’s not *really* sneaking …

Here are the original insert cards that I’ve created for my “Artists You Should Know” mixtapes. My audience is college students (18-23), so I’ve chosen artists that were highly influential to me — not necessarily unknown or obscure artists — and have chosen some of their best tracks, which may be lesser known (ha — deep tracks). I’m hoping that people discover and enjoy something new to them.

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BTW I hope that if my audience is familiar with the Foo Fighters they realize that this is, in fact, actually Dave Grohl, and not some doppelgänger … 🙂

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BTW: I went to Goodwill over Thanksgiving and on the rack of $1 CDs was the 1979 single, which I’ve been wanting to purchase from Discogs for a while. It had 3 new-to-me Pumpkins songs!

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I can’t wait to see what these look like when they’re xeroxed down in quality! I’ll post pix of the final product. I may do two more in this series, but am also considering doing a series of “Songs from the year of your birth” with songs from 1993-1995 (yikes) since my audience is young, and those are my favorite years for music anyway.


Have you ever made a mixtape (or playlist) for somebody? 

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*Side note: another thing I’ve dearly missed is blogging (writing for writing’s sake). I haven’t blogged as much lately because I didn’t think I had anything to blog about that anybody was interested in reading about. This is a seriously wrong idea, and goes against what I strive for in my blog: authenticity and writing for me and not necessarily an audience. Maybe people are interested in reading about my grad school journey and my research … maybe not. But through writing about it I can gain a better understanding of what I’m doing. And, perhaps, some of you ARE interested in reading and would offer a different perspective. This being said, I am going to write about a few more things I’ve done this semester and sprinkle them in (i.e. back date them) as they chronologically happened. Sorry if you’re a reader and that annoys you, but I use this blog as a life archive, and it is helpful to me to have things in the order they happened. 

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